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Natania

Questions About Firing With Peep Out

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I recently got a new (to me) kiln and find myself with a few niggling questions. It has a manual kiln-sitter shut off:

 

1) the kiln manual says to fire it with the top peep out. However, I have a down draft vent, and I am wondering if this would create too much airflow? If I do fire it with the peep out, should I close the peep for cooling after the kiln reaches temperature and shuts off?

 

2) my glazes were more glossy, and less matte, in my old kiln. I am thinking that the old one perhaps cooled more quickly because it was a smaller kiln with thinner bricks/ not so much insulation. If I glaze fire it with the top peep out and the vent on, might this help bring back some glossiness? Should I leave the peep out and vent on during all or part of the cooling? Or would this create problems because of too much airflow during cooling?

 

Thanks for any thoughts or feedback.....

 

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If you're running a downdraft vent, all the peeps should be in whenever the fan is on.

 

You're probably right about the cooling time affecting the glossiness of the glazes. Slower cooling usually promotes matte surfaces. The vent will help speed cooling little bit, but you could always open a peep at the end of a firing to speed the cooling more. If your vent motor is mounted under the kiln, leave it running even with the peep open to keep the motor cool. If the motor is mounted away from the kiln you can turn it off when you open the peep. There will be a limit to how fast you can cool the kiln simply because it's bigger.

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Cooling time is something a lot of people overlook when dealing with glazes and firing. I personally like the texture and depth of glaze color with a slower cooling. Others in search of a glossy surface will cool quicker. For me, the glossy surface hides detail that I put into the glazing process with reflections fighting the decoration for prominence. So I prefer to go a softer gloss route, often achieved by a slower cool down. To make the best of this I have replaced my old lid with a thicker one, and fire down somewhat.

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I always fire with all the peeps out.  I've tried firing with them in, but they always seem to melt when I do, and I was tired of clean up the mess...

 

7476183-media_httpwwwenquirer_qrryv.jpg

Benzine, early am here.. what am I not getting, school back and humour is warped already? Do the peeps echo?

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Years ago I acquired a kiln with no pluhs for peep holes.  I later asked the seller why they had sold it as it was a really reliable kiln and she had replaced it with a similar kiln and was reportedly stilll having trouble. Her reply staggered me...She was having real difficulty reaching cone 8 taking hours longer than she had anticipated, I asked her more about her firing schedule, didn't ever put peep hole plugs in, didn't know about them, still in packet for new kiln.  Could have acquired a newer kiln if I'd kept quiet I guess! 

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I always fire with all the peeps out.  I've tried firing with them in, but they always seem to melt when I do, and I was tired of clean up the mess...

 

7476183-media_httpwwwenquirer_qrryv.jpg

Benzine, early am here.. what am I not getting, school back and humour is warped already? Do the peeps echo?

 

It's a peeps thing. No echo, just . . . art.

 

http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/magazine/peeps/

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If you're running a downdraft vent, all the peeps should be in whenever the fan is on.

 

You're probably right about the cooling time affecting the glossiness of the glazes. Slower cooling usually promotes matte surfaces. The vent will help speed cooling little bit, but you could always open a peep at the end of a firing to speed the cooling more. If your vent motor is mounted under the kiln, leave it running even with the peep open to keep the motor cool. If the motor is mounted away from the kiln you can turn it off when you open the peep. There will be a limit to how fast you can cool the kiln simply because it's bigger.

Thanks, Neil. I will try this next time. The motor is mounted away from the kiln, so I will shut off the vent and open the top peep when the kiln reaches temperature and shuts off. I was worried that with one peep out the kiln will cool too quickly and cause cracking of glazes, but it doesn't sound like that is likely since it is a bigger kiln.

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